When students walk into Sarah Webster’s apartment, they will more than likely gawk at her perfectly decorated living room.
However, the real jaw-dropper is the fact that most of the living room decor is homemade craft projects or thrift store purchases.
After being assigned to live in Adams/Winship Apartments, Webster and her roommates each chose to decorate a space in their apartment. Webster chose to decorate the living room.
The sophomore welcomed the challenge of decorating on a low budget. She opted to browse the isles of the thrift store rather than settle for furniture department purchases.
Upon learning that the living room was furnished with blue sofas, Webster decided to create a blue color scheme for the room. She tackled the decorating project during her summer vacation and worked on it as a side project.
“The whole idea of it was that we were going to do every shade of blue. Just kind of not really ‘matchy matchy,’” said Webster. “What I like to do is choose one color and do the entire spectrum of that color and throw it all together.
“The floral ottomans were the jumping off point, as they would say on HGTV, then everything else came together,” Webster said on her inspiration behind the dorm room.
Some of the furniture pieces came together by fate, such as a shelved cabinet, which stands on the far side of the living room.
Webster found the shelved cabinet on the curb of her neighbor’s driveway ready to be thrown away as trash, but Webster decided to salvage the piece of furniture and use it for her living room. She repainted it and refinished it with a striped pattern.
“Most everything is bought second hand, or is from my house, or I made it,” Webster said. The only decor items that Webster bought for the apartment were two floral ottoman cushions from Target, three wooden initials on her wall and the fabric for the living room’s curtains and pillows.
The blue and white rug, was originally listed for $70 on Craigslist, but Webster bargained to purchase it for $30. Most of the wall decor and art are things that Webster painted and crafted.
“Be creative on how you spend your money because it is really easy to go Target or Bed Bath & Beyond and buy the whole set. I think that is such a waste of money and that it is not nearly as fun because you don’t have you use your brain. You just let them do it for you,” Webster said.
Webster said that she prefers to do her homework in the living room rather than her bedroom upstairs because of its cozy environment. “Everyone says it’s homey. That’s what I get a lot because it doesn’t look like a dorm room,” Webster said.
Although Webster doesn’t claim to have any interests in pursuing a career in interior design, she has received some job offers to revamp her friend’s apartments.
“One boy has given me $60 and the key to his apartment to do it for him. I got hired. There isn’t a whole lot you can do with $60, but he thinks that I’m going to transform it for him,” Webster said.
Webster challenges college students to think out of the box when it comes to decorating. “I think think you can make your money go a lot farther if you try to get things from different places like thrift stores and Goodwill. It’s a lot easier and more fun when you can put something together and not just buy the box,” said Webster.